Harder-Potschete

Interlaken

Interlaken: Harder Kulm

Interlaken: Harder Kulm

Interlaken: Casino

Interlaken: Casino

Unterseen: Top Camp AG

Unterseen: Top Camp AG

Interlaken: Neuhaus

Interlaken: Neuhaus

Interlaken: Victoria-Jungfrau

Interlaken: Victoria-Jungfrau

Interlaken: Backpackers Villa

Interlaken: Backpackers Villa

Interlaken: Niederhorn - Chill Out Paragliding World

Interlaken: Niederhorn - Chill Out Paragliding World

On January 2 every year, Interlaken is haunted by the masked figures of the Hardermann, his wife and his band of followers, the Potschen. Masked figures (known as the Potschen) run through the streets, screaming and shouting, pulling spectators along, and spreading (mock) fear and dread.

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The source of this tradition is a cult of the dead. In the past the masked people represented the dead, who were offered a gift to appease them. After the tradition led to wild fights amongst the youth, people reformed the tradition in 1956. The so-called “Chummeln” was combined with the legend of the Harder Man, whose face is hewn into the rock of the Harder House Mountain. The face looks down from the mountain, high above Interlaken. The legend of the Harder Man tells of a monk who molested a young girl, who then jumped over the rock face. The monk’s punishment was to look down onto the scene of his crime for thousands of years. This is how today’s Harder-Potschete procession was born.

In addition to the Harder-Postschete, the procession is accompanied by Guggen Music, members of the Musical Society, Drummers Association, Trychler Formations (cowbell players) and numerous children’s “Potscheni” (masks). The laboriously carved masks are all of wood and were individually carved by hand. After the traditional Potschete “procession”, people meet in the pubs to socialize in a congenial atmosphere.

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